By Uchenna Ezenwa Akujobi
OK, there’s this sixteen year old girl. What’s that her name sef…uuhhhhmm? Well obviously I can’t tell you guys her name but for the sake of this post, let’s call her… emmmmm? Amaka, no, no, no Amaka is my sister’s name. Let’s call her Eva… mbanu! Eva is my pooch’s name. I’d call her Virginia. I have my reasons.
Now Virginia and I met last year, she came to see a doctor. She had malaria and we talked for so long. I had no other patients to see and the young lady was amazing. I liked her, partly because she was same age as my nephew, but besides age, they shared many other similarities. She was inquisitive, queried everything and wanted to know why this and why that. She had hunger for information and it was just captivating.
It was obvious she was a bright young lady. She spoke Queen’s English and she knew just about enough to not be a total waste of my time. Our long conversation was interrupted by a nurse who came in because she was wondering why it was taking me so long to finish with this patient. Before she left, Virginia asked for my number. Sixteen year old, totally harmless, against my better judgment, I gave her… my nurse was shocked and she said “hian! doc you, you dan get girlfriend oo”. We laughed and that was it.
Each time Virginia came around we’d have our usual long chat. I’d ask about school and she’d want to know all I know about Medicine. She’d call me, quite frequently, mostly to talk about health related issues. The calls got a little more frequent and soon, I knew from experience, that something was wrong. She’d call by 11:00 pm to ask how my day was and if I’ve had something to eat. Soon she started complaining I never return her calls.
Four weeks ago, she called me saying she was ill and wanted to know if I was on duty. I asked her to come right away. She came with her mum. She was stooling, vomiting, had a fever and malaise. After talking plenty, I filled out a lab form requesting for malaria parasites screen, a full blood count and some others… and yeah a pregnancy test. But before I called the lab, I asked my young friend:
Me: My dear, when was your last menstrual period?
Virginia: I saw it last month sir, this month it has not come.
Me: Is it possible you’re pregnant?
Virginia: No oo… I’m not, I’m a virgin.
Shey una dey see problem, who asked about virginity here now? Well, I went with my instincts and requested for the PT notwithstanding. I sent her home with some medications. She was to come the next day to see the lab results. Next day, she showed up early, I wasn’t on duty but she called. Curious to know how well she was responding to treatment, I came out to see her myself.
“How are you now my dear” I asked
Virginia: I’m much better now we thank God.
I opened her case note, the first thing that hit me was the pregnancy test result. I couldn’t control the anger within; when anger and disappointment mixes up, you feel something strange. My mother’s guardian Angel reminded me of the other lady from before, the one that almost put me in trouble so I called for a nurse to sit with Virginia and I… and then… ghen!! ghen!!!
Me: Virginia you’re pregnant! How could you be pregnant! You’re just 17!
Virginia fell off her chair to her knees and in fact eh words cannot describe the pain and outburst of emotions. She cried uncontrollably, she was rolling on the floor. Nurse went to hold her and console her. Me I was too angry with her to say anything, a ‘smart girl’, how could she? She managed to utter a few words amidst her tears. “Doc what do I do? Can you help me plssssssssss, Doc. plssssssssss…” she was crying, “My mother will kill me, hey! I’m finished…Doc. please you’ve to do something!!!”
I looked her dead in the eyes. I had many things to say like ” I can’t help you my dear, you brought this on yourself, what are you doing having sex at this age…” but pity, chia! Pity overshadowed my anger and I said “sweetheart don’t worry, I’d help you. Stop crying. Wipe your tears, let’s talk like we always do”
She sat up. Wiped her tears… Looking hopeful.
Me: First of, I’m really confused about how it is that a virgin is pregnant. I’ve only seen this in the Bible… abi you drink your own belle for water? You know you’re my friend, just tell me d truth.
“Sir I’ve a boyfriend” she said sobbing.
Me: Good! And you’re sleeping with him abi? Without protection?
Me: Do you’ve any idea how much risk you’re taking, I’ve told you so much about HIV, hepatitis and other STIs abi? Well, I’m sorry but we’d have to run a full serology so I can know how much help you really need before I start offering to be of any assistance. I quickly sent a fresh sample to d lab & lucky us, her serology was clear.
Me: So Virginia, you’re pregnant, count yourself lucky instead of crying. You could have contracted HIV or one of her business associates, you know what they say, children are gifts from God. God has just blessed you. You should be grateful.
Me: Now this is how I can help u. Hold your ear and listen. Funny but she held her right ear up. I almost laughed but then I remembered I was not retarded. This was serious.
“Abortion is illegal in this country, even if it wasn’t, I would never be a party to it mostly ‘cos it goes against my core beliefs. I can, however, help you by talking to your parents so they don’t kill you, getting you some good antenatal care and making sure you give birth safely when the time is right and being a godfather to your bundle of joy if you’d have me… but first you’d have to talk to your boyfriend and prepare him for fatherhood, that one, it’s only you that can do it.”
Virginia started crying again ooo …This time even louder than before… “I’M DEAD OOO, I’M DEAD OOO. …GOD HELP ME EEEEEEEE!!!” Trust me all 3 of us were in the consulting room. I asked the nurse not to console her anymore. Let her let it all out. So we waited for an hour or so, when she was done crying. She stood up and walked away.
“Doctor is that all you can do for me?” She asked as she turned to look at me just before leaving the room, Chie… I saw my nephew in her eyes, I could feel tears building up in my eyes but TAAA! If I hear say I shed one drop. I called her back just as she reached d door and I said “My dear. I’m sorry you have to go through this. I can only imagine how you feel, you still have a bright future ahead, God can never give you a burden you cannot carry. Don’t do anything stupid ok. This too shall pass. Let me know when you’re ready so I can talk to your parents.
As I retired to my living room, I couldn’t help but wonder whether it was partly my fault. I had so much time with this little girl, how was it I couldn’t see she was living such a reckless lifestyle at such a young age. I felt bad for the time I harshly asked her to stop calling me at inappropriate hours, I probably should’ve talked to her more. All the time I had to counsel her… Nna mehhnn, which kind life?
Next day I got a call from the hospital. I was told my little friend had come to see me again.
Virginia: Sir I am feeling better now, and just came for a check-up.
I looked at her and smiled. I thought to myself ‘even at such a young age, even with all that cry-cry, the “mother” in this young child wouldn’t hurt her baby”, we talked for hours. When I saw she could smile and laugh and not think the end of the world of her situation, I let her go home.
I was to see her in two weeks to repeat our PT and then plan towards Ante Natal Care registration, so you can imagine my shock when she was rushed in by her mom and brother last night. She was in shock & unconscious with the angel of death hovering around her. She had been bleeding for about a week and told her people she’s was seeing her period; though her mom suspected the abdominal cramps were unusual. As I examined her, you know those tears, the ones I held back the other time, well they were already all over my face. As her mom saw me crying she threw herself to the ground and started wailing “GOD OF PASTOR …………., DON’T LET MY DAUGHTER DIE!! JEESSUUSSS!!!…DOCTORRRR PLS DO SOMETHING… HEYYYYY! THEY’VE KILLED ME OOO”
I asked the nurses to take her away so I could work. It was 2:45 am. My little friend was still in there somewhere and I’d be damned if she crosses the line on my watch…she had a few minutes and so did I.
I’d finish this some other time.
Any similarity between any person in the above story and any other person living, dead or in between is surely a coincidence.
Uchenna Ezenwa Akujobi studied Medicine and Surgery in the University of Port Harcourt. He is a stock trader, a practicing doctor; and writing happens to be one of many things he is very fond of. He is passionate about sharing authentic and useful health information with the public in forms that are very interesting, easy to read and relate with. When not relating with humans he spends time grooming and raising his dogs.
The Parable of the Forgotten Shoes
By Benjamin Dike
So this was how I was dressed in church today!
Forgot my shoes? No. My wife did. Before you think my wife practically slaves for me, she doesn’t. She is actually the boss; I live in her house. So here is what happened.
We had got set for church and I was carrying things to the car. As I stooped to pick my shoes (I don’t like driving with my shoes on if I can help it), she offered to help me bring the shoes to the car.
I pulled out the car and we drive to church. Then I asked her for my shoes. Now you already know the response. She had forgotten the shoes at home. First, I ‘froze’. This was quite serious. I can’t go home to get the shoes. Home is on the Island; Church is on the mainland. Then I was about saying, But I wanted to pick the shoes and you … (Yeah, at least I should blame her). But one look at her stopped me in my tracks. She looked so subdued and beaten like a little child.
This woman is one of the most meticulous persons I know. I can keep something somewhere in her absence and will later forget where I kept it. My only hope is my wife or the Holy Spirit (when she is not available). I will just tell her that I am looking for so and so and she will either tell me where it is or she will go find it. So, one look at Madam Meticulous, I felt enormous pity (or was it compassion) well up inside me. She obviously had no bad intentions. Things just happen sometimes.
I chuckled and told her not to worry. My mood shifted immediately. It was now a sense of excitement to dress up in my nice suit – with a slipper on! I will look different, I told myself. And I will leave people guessing – that is if they even notice! (Often we forget that people are busy focusing on themselves that they may not even notice the shoes you are wearing).
I started looking forward to it. Then I asked myself, what has my dressing got to do with my worship after all? Wow! It felt so liberating. It was a powerful deliverance from human expectations and convention. It was a refocusing on what really matters. Perhaps, it’s really my heart that matters, my heart that God cares about, not merely the outer trappings. Don’t get me wrong, proper dressing is proper – when you can help it! But now, I couldn’t help it. And I wasn’t about to ruin my day and my worship on the altar of a ‘forgotten shoes’.
Meanwhile, my wife was still deeply beaten and looking for how to fix the ‘mess’. She got one of my young men to go home and get me his shoes. But I flatly refused. I was just fine. Sometimes a little bit of mischief can spice up life. And I was loving the mischief of a suit with some marching slippers!
So here are 4 quick lessons that came to mind
1) How you live your day is a choice – joy or ruin.
2) Sometimes, people don’t wrong you because they are bad. It’s just because they are people – they can fail.
3) What if we were to judge people by their true intentions and not their actions. Maybe we will have better relationships. The reality is that we often judge people by their actions while we judge ourselves by our intentions.
4) What you see as a problem is what becomes a problem. A messy situation is really a matter of interpretation.
My friends, trust me, I had a very beautiful time in church today – shoes or no shoes. So, focus on what’s important and free yourself from the needless clutter than ruin your fun in life.
Choose to enjoy your life, mbok!
Benjamin C. Dike, PhD
Benjamin is the executive Chairman of Joshua Leadership Project. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom and a Doctorate degree in Credit Management from the International University of Panama. Benjamin is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and a Fellow of both the Institute of Credit Administration and the Chartered Institute of Finance and Control of Nigeria. A prolific and insightful writer, he has several published works, including God of My Right Hand and EveryDay Leadership.
Hearts Without Thorns…
The Christian Medical and Dental Association of Nigeria – Students’ arm, Abia State University Teaching Hospital (CMDA Nigeria – Students ABSUTH) presents her healing balm newsletter for the year 2020 titled “HEARTS WITHOUT THORNS”.
It’s a book culled to enable it’s reader to understand the concept of living a life free from thorns and toxins which make our love for God unstable and wavering.
It aims at equipping every reader with the knowledge and consciousness of his existential state.
You know we happen to live in a world where everyone is doing it the way they seem fit, some feel they’re doing it right, some know they’re not on track but they’re just doing it anyways.
It’s expedient for us to understand that not everyone who is a Christian is actually one. You know Judas was a follower of Jesus for 3yrs yet the scriptures recorded that he loved money so much, which was the legal premise by which the devil found expression in him to betray JESUS.
This book will enable us to understand some deep facts about staying in alignment with Christ and his Business.
Click below to download…(more…)
Is rape preventable?
Rape is a violent crime, and a very sensitive subject, that creates all kinds of emotions when talked about. Recently I wanted to do a talk on rape and needed a lawyer’s input, I wanted the lawyer to be part of the discussion, but her response was in the negative. In her words “I may be too emotional because I have had three near-rape incidents.”
Rape is caused by the rapist/s, but how do we protect our boys, girls, and ourselves from rape? I asked this question on my Facebook account and got some responses, which I would love to share here and I would also wish you can respond as well, as we learn and play our part to have a rape free society.
Ichechi Wokeh Esq; ‘Give the girl child good martial arts training to afford her a fighting chance in case of any eventuality... Truth is: rape, like many other vices, cannot be totally wiped off the face of the earth. We just have to find ways to avoid being victims. We can’t just sit back and wait it out. They should also be taught not to be with the wrong people at the wrong places, about the possibility of being drugged, about opening up, etc. Rape is a capital offence. They should beat the shame, report, and save the next girl from that particular rapist. Rape suspects hardly meet their bail conditions given the nature of the crime. I just can’t comprehend it when I hear people shy away from reporting rape cases. It’s not the shaming, but the resources to follow up your complaint. If you try that one with a family having the resources, that suspect is dead meat. It’s just the money to pursue case. Na money matter. Who born rapist??? If you see their physical condition in court, you’ll even forgive them.’
Dr. Charles Okpani; ‘Ovundah Nyeche we have to start instituting Christian family upbringing again. The men who rape were raised in homes, bro it will continue. Christian school education with well thought out sex education for every age group. Churches need to start organizing parenting classes for couples to learn.’
Dr. Comfort Ogidi; ‘There is no easy way to protect our children, God’s protection is all. I have heard of people who have ‘followed all protocols’ to prevent situations that can lead to rape and still got raped. Rape can happen anywhere, not mainly males but also females, friends, family, fathers, robbers, strangers are all culprits. Homes, boyfriends houses, streets, alleyways, buses, clubs and now churches have all been implicated. So I cannot tell my child don’t dress indecently( so you don’t get raped. I might have other reasons to tell them so but not that. Also a place you think is secluded today might be the only passageway tomorrow, and a regular route today might be secluded tomorrow. So basically, I would only ask parents to teach their children consent, and also ask our government to make rape punishment stiffer, and the culture of victim blaming reduced. Finally, having weapons such as pepper spray and such might not be a bad idea. Although one prays our children never meet a situation where they would have to use it.‘ When quizzed further about a comment she made about dressing, she added ‘I will tell them this…dress the way you want to be addressed….In this part of the world (Nigeria) if you dress with too much skin exposed, you would be seen as fickle, someone who has nothing much to bring to the conversation and that’s why you are calling attention to your body unnecessarily. In fact, to simpletons you are a slut. So dress the way you want to be seen as. Dress smart, dress to the occasion, dress to the place. Be smart, be emotionally intelligent. I don’t use the word ‘indecent dressing’ at all, as decency of dressing is relative to the place.What is seen as a decent dressing in Port Harcourt is indecent in Borno, and what is seen as decent in Essex is indecent in Lagos.‘
Emmanuel Nwakanma a Sociologist; ‘Dr. There may be no direct way of stopping or protecting people from rape, however putting some things in place can discourage it to a large extent. For instance:1. Perfecting forensic investigation. When people know that if they commit a crime, no matter how perfect, the justice system will always catch them, less crimes will be committed.2. Improve on our security system. We don’t really take security serious in Nigeria. No CCTVs on our streets alleys. Even on main roads, you can drive for hours and you won’t see one security personnel on the road. 3. Ensure perpetrators are dealt with in order to discourage others from such behaviour. 4. Teaching boys and girls self defence. 5. Improving on rapid response to SOS. Do we have a ‘911’? What’s the response rate? 6. Street lights, regular electricity. 7. Regularly educating boys and girls on risk factors, triggers and dynamics of rape. They look like irrelevant things but they can go a long way.‘
Dr. Boma Nyananyo; ‘Tell the boys… rape is wrong… teach them how to take no for an answer…Also protect the boys, many have been molested by women when they were younger.If all fails,don’t cover up.. don’t blame a girl who was raped… it hurts.’
Pst. Judah Olorunmaiye; ‘My thoughts are very scattered, please pardon me. I’ll also like to emphasize a few other things that may not have been echoed previously. Sir, Sex has been redefined by modern society. The first step is to be loud on the sacredness of sex. When we speak of Chastity, people believe it’s just another sexual orientation of someone who is low on libido, but as long as sex is just a body gift that can be received casually or stolen(Rape) we cannot even deal with the fundamental issues.It’s honestly difficult to give counsel on protecting yourself from rape because I’ve never been close to such situations, but I believe I can give general suggestions that may help us. Let’s start with the value of every human. While this may seem like an inconsequential point, it determines a lot in terms of how others are treated. Sexual, emotional and physical abuse, ranging from police brutality to domestic violence is founded on the premise of a lack of value for another human being’s emotions and feelings. There has been a systematic erasing of our conscience on the last decade, so much so that the hurts and pains of others doesn’t seem to bother us again. Our minds are constantly being trained to see pain and brutality as the norm among humans, we watch it in our favorite movies and hear of constant blood shed from activities of terrorism and kidnappers, and so slowly and surely we’ve added the trauma, pain and cruelty of rape as part of human society that can be endured and tolerated. There are already numerous counsels written here about how toxic the media can be to the young generation but let me buttress that point again. Our generation has been sexually pumped up. This is primarily because the average celebrity is a loose cannon who engages in all kind of pervert pleasure and gives an impression that this is how to live successfully. From Politicians buying sex toys to Religious leaders accused severally of sexual misconduct, we have deceived the next generation, that sexual pleasure inevitably comes with being at the Top.While we can acknowledge that some of these people have succeeded know their personal endeavors, we must refuse the temptation to paint them as heroes just because they are rich and famous.We are quick to label them as role models irrespective of their pervert views on sacred subjects and so our children may imitate their drive and tenacity towards success but they will also imbibe their values and reflect their principles.I also believe we have given too much respect to “Elders and Erring Leaders”The average rape case often involves a young lady and an older man, This older man believes his sins will be pardoned because he has grey hairs. No one will report him because they will respect his age and respect the tradition that protects an erring leader. I am a firm believer in honouring the aged, but it’s more priority to punish evil than to respect age and tradition. If the western world are more decisive with dealing with rape crimes, this is where they differ from Africa.The Pastor must know that he won’t be spared if his church finds out his evil, the political leaders must know they won’t be re elected if their constituency is told of their sex crimes. Finally, let’s scrap to a large degree the facilitators of a massive loss of self control. Our society preached about condoms and abortion pills in the name of safe sex but sold a message captioned.. “We must have sex, we can’t control our bodies, but just make it safe”, We should be preaching self control and not safe sex. Alcohol abstinence is now being mocked as being religious, meanwhile the consumption of that substance makes people lose their senses and think ugly thoughts.Everything that encourages the weakening of self control should be deemphasized no matter how logical they sound. If we can control our hormones and preach to others that it is not hard at all, we can save the next generation from the beast of sexual misconduct.’
Pst. Austine Oviawe; ‘We live in a very sexualized society, whose constant exposure homosexual innuendos and overtures is unparalleled. Sex is glamourized on every hand, entertainment, social media, arts, sports and even religion has become sexualized. Feminists have ignored the sexual gravity of men towards the woman’s nakedness, and defend every woman right to dress half naked, one has seen all sorts as women now dress sexy, not to cover nakedness. A naked woman does something to any sexually active male. Every man will respond sexually to a naked woman!As society is plunging into a sexual abyss, there is little or no knowledge to the young teens on handling and dealing with the sexual pressure that barrages them daily. Society through the internet is breeding all sorts of sexual perverts. The musical videos on even government television channels are for the most part x-rated. Little children as young as 2 years old can twerk and dance seductively like crazed adult whores. Sadly, most parent work, thus leaving an entire generation to school systems, the street, and TV programs after school, and these children are seeded with perverse sights and sounds.Kids have been caught kissing passionately in school toilets, and anywhere they have privacy, even our kids church are not spared, we spend more time monitoring interactions between kids who seem to have only had a week of innocence as babies. I don’t allow my kids attend other kids birthday parties anymore, what goes on in kids birthday party is worrisome. We need to declare an emergency in our schools, churches, homes, and society at large to tackle the sex lies, pressure, and perversion that seeks to overthrow an entire generation of young people. The need is for healthy and holistic sex education for teens and pre-teens, legislation to protect our young from defiling entertainment and creating boundaries where these have become trampled, and training both sexes how to possess their vessels in honour and sanctification. We must become proactive, and not reactive only when young girls are violated. We must do better that trend hashtags and take responsibility to raise youths who are sexually informed, and responsible. Parents must do their jobs and not delegate the responsibility of raising their kids to schools and churches. The entertainment outlets available to the kids must be properly vetted and controlled. It high time we have books for 3 and 4 year old on sexual exploitation and how to prevent and resist such. Exposing abuse at such early age of innocence by encouraging them to speak up and expose any one and everyone that violates their body. Parents must pay attention to kids mood and limit who and what their kids is exposed to, including kids their age too.‘
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